Monday, 4 March 2013, 3 - 6 p.m.
Conference Room 2, North Lawn Building
United Nations headquarters, New York
Statement by Minister Paavo Arhinmäki
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
To prevent violence against women and girls, we need to start by involving men and boys. Violence against women and girls is linked to masculine culture and the harmful gender stereotypes.
According to one of these stereotypes, violence is strongly present in the male culture, male groups and activities. We need to make this model and its connections visible and find measures to eliminate violence by promoting positive and non-violent images of men. I would very much want to hear about other countries’ experiences in tackling this problem.
In Finland, one example of promoting a non-violent male culture has been the Boys’ House. The Boys’ House is an establishment offering low-threshold support services for boys aged 10 to 28. The Boys’ House offers individual and group support and networking. It strives to provide new perspectives towards masculinity and the roles of men and boys. The Boys’ House is sending a message that boys have the right to break harmful stereotypes and expand the way to be a man and a boy in a non-violent manner.
In Finland, we have identified four areas of good practice from research and statistics: FIRST: making the prevention of gender-based violence matter to men, SECOND: moving from awareness to action, THIRD: influencing the police and the military, and FOURTH: changing institutional responses.
In Finland, violent offenders seek admission to programmes to assist in their rehabilitation, based on the advice by the authorities, service providers, spouse or partner or on their own initiative. Collaboration between the police, women’s services, courts of law and other services in this area contributes significantly to the outcome of violence rehabilitation programmes.
Focusing on the role of men and boys, I have outlined some of Finland’s experiences in the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. I look forward to hearing your views on this topic.
Thank you for your attention.